Ancient strength feats fascinate me. The folkloric strongmen of yore make our modern men look shriveled and weak.
We can learn a lot from those strongmen. They weren’t pumping out reps on the curl bar at the local Planet Fitness. They didn’t worry about over-training, and they sure as hell didn’t have all the supplements we have available now. They used what was available to them, and made the most of it.
One of the most legendary is the Great Gamma who reportedly never lost in 52 years of catch wrestling. According to legend, at the age of 17 (and only standing 5’7), Gamma took on India’s top wrestler (who stood at 7 foot tall). The match lasted hours, with both men giving everything they had until they couldn’t stand any longer. It was ruled a draw.
The next time around, though, Gamma went on the offensive. Although badly bloodied, he defeated the giant. By 1910 he captured the heavyweight title, then sailing sailed west to look for worthy opponents.
The Great Gamma’s impact lasted long beyond catch wrestling in the east. He has inspired many of the legends of our culture, including Bruce Lee, not only by his impressive undefeated streak, but by his relentless workouts.
These workouts consisted of these things: Hindu push-ups, Hindu squats, and a long-distance run. This is how Gamma was able to last in these long, drawn-out matches, and still have the strength to compete with larger opponents. Martial artists still use this royal court of exercises today.
Our workout this week will be a spin-off of the Great Gamma’s royal court. We will break it up into three parts. Two tabatas (20 seconds on/10 seconds off, for 8 rounds) followed by a 400 meter sprint.
Tabata 1- Hindu Push-ups
Tabata 2 – Hindu Squats
Last: 400 meter sprint
This workout will test your muscular endurance and mental stamina. When you feel like quitting remember the Great Gamma reportedly did 5,000 squats and 3,000 push-ups every day! I’m pretty sure if he could do that, you can make it through this workout.
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